Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Trying to get a few rooms ready for our hopeful return.

There have been so many events happening in the process of selling our house and buying the French farm that one could draw parallels and see things as signs. The most striking “sign” that this was so meant to be was that while signing the final papers for the farm, across the oceans, someone had made an offer on the Topanga house. WOW!, talk about your lattice of coincidence, kismet party of two. Regretfully a week later, the buyer had to back out as there were unresolved family issues, which caused family issues at our home. So we continued cleaning the farmhouse, and taking the ever growing pile of debris, bag by bag into the barn. Having accomplished the cleaning to the degree that our time allowed we set upon the next critical item we needed to accomplish prior to our departure back to California, the painting of Caleigh’s bedroom. She had expressed wanting a bedroom that wasn’t like some old museum exhibit, and it so happened there was one room in the whole house that didn’t belong in “Brideshead revisited” or the “Bride of Frankenstein” for that matter. In the front hall as you go towards the main stairway there is a room off to the left that was added later in the history of this house, kind of non descript, but the door way to it is another of the architectural details that I love so. It’s a deep wall the goes into the room, so they built in paneling in the surround as you enter, on the wall and above at the header there is nice light blue stained woodwork. The effect is that of entering a formal reception room, however small enough that it could be a nice bedroom, 3 meters by 4 meters with an eight foot ceiling height, add in a folding screen and the divider could make a fun room for a teenage young lady. Ok, so off to the hardware store to get the needed supplies, so let’s get to it. I leave the house and head for the nearest large town, Saint Foy Le Grand, how fun. Cindy had stayed behind to tackle the front walkway with the Cat urine infused foliage.
I remembered seeing a rather nice looking hardware store the size of a small home depot that looked promising a few days earlier, the phrase of Keep it simple stupid escaped me as I drove further and further into the Dordognian country side. I could have sworn it was this way, as I reached Saint Emillion 40 minutes after I had set out; I guessed the gig was up, , and headed back the way I had come. Half way home I stopped at a rather unrewarding looking junior varsity hardware shop and went in. Malibu Barbie’s friend without benefits, Ken, would have been right at home here, it looked like an overpriced 99cent tool store on meth. I made my way to the paint-paint brush- lawn care aisle and proceeded to shop for the needed items. The first thing I needed was paint, “something off white but not to dark and not to white” Just so you know, I knew when Cindy described the color she….we wanted, that it was a perfect setup for “didn’t you listen, I said not to dark or to white”. So I chose green, no actually I chose Ivory, not the soap either. Then I looked over all the brushes and bought a decent one, not one of those 25 dollar masterpieces either. The rollers were a lot narrower than in the States, but what you gonna do. I also bought some more of the miracle acid, paint tray for the paint and returned home to the cleaner farmhouse. Well the paint was not unlike rolling on yogurt, and turns out it was this soupy consistency, and the disposable rollers could barely apply it. After the 2 liter sized can was empty, with only the short wall covered it became evident that we would need more paint and a much better painter. I have painted so many walls, ceilings, and house exteriors that this experience blindsided me, after screwing up the courage and the first attempt of painting in a foreign country Cindy and I set off to get more paint. Let’s just say the discussion about the trek I took to get the first pail of paint didn’t go swimmingly. After it was determined, unanimously I might add, what a bumbling nitwit my navigational, decision making skills, and that my overall attitude was lacking, we continued on our romantic drive across the country side. After stopping at two hardware stores trying to find the exact same make and color, we struck pay dirt. We also bought another roller, as the one I bought didn’t have the ability to have an extension pole inserted into it, boy did I wish I was that particular roller at this point. I tracked down an associate working in the paint, paint brush, lawn care aisle and pointed at my hands, she walked a few steps down the aisle and pointed at the white spirit labeled bottle. I bought two, turns out the paint was oil based, not the acrylic I had thought, I swear the label said Acrylic, but probably said it covered as well as acrylic but harder to get off. Gleefully I left the store with our new purchases, Cindy was slowly getting out of her funk and so we returned back to the farmhouse. We managed to get Caleigh’s walls and ceiling painted, and cleaned out; but needing to sand the floor and then seal it, but that would happen upon our return. The photo at the header is of Caleighs bedroom entry, as a before photo, with some chairs that were fortunately gone when we returned. We love the Farmhouse with all its shortcomings, the property has potential, and the community has been so kind to us. Petit Clos, its name and it’s address, has a sign to it as well, take the first initials of its name, and the first initial of my last name and Cindy’s maiden name Carlyle, and they are the same P and C. But again that’s just the lattice of coincidence, which I’ll probably have to paint as well, because I love painting lattice.

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